OSF HealthCare Ministry Headquarters, Peoria

2023 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Rehabilitation

OSF HealthCare has rehabilitated one of Peoria’s most iconic buildings, creating its new Ministry Headquarters and reinvigorating the city’s downtown in the process. The building, known locally as “The Big White Store,” was constructed in 1904 and first home to the Schipper and Block department store. The project included significant demolition of non-original interior infrastructure, exterior refurbishment, and meticulous restoration of historical details. Specialty craftworkers were engaged, and archival research was conducted to ensure faithful maintenance of historical details. Original architectural elements were authentically and meticulously restored or rebuilt according to original specifications. The reuse of the building prevented its demolition and also led the project team to list it in the National Register of Historic Places, securing its inclusion in the Downtown Peoria National Historic District and enabling the use of federal and state historic preservation tax credits. OSF Healthcare Ministry Headquarters rehabilitation received federal and Illinois River Edge historic rehabilitation tax credits which helped revitalize this iconic structure.


(Photo credit: balloggphoto.com)


Project Principals

  • Jim Mormann, OSF HealthCare, Owner
  • Meg Kindelin, JLK Architects, Historic Preservation Architect
  • Tracy Hermann Coker, Dewberry Architects, Lead Design Architect
  • Rachel Michelin, Thornton Tomasetti, Structural Engineer for Restoration
  • Adam Gibson, POINTCORE Construction, Client Management
  • Otto Baum Company, Inc., Masonry Preservation Contractor
  • Foster-Jacob, Inc., Electrical Contractor
  • CORE Construction, General Contractor


(Photo credit: Peoria Public Library)


*Above list is provided by nominators. Don’t see your company listed but worked on this project? Let us know! Email lwills (at) landmarks.org.


Jim Mormann, owner of OSF HealthCare

The Sisters of the Order of St. Francis (OSF) believes strongly in investing in the community and chose to restore the building and bring the OSF HealthCare Ministry headquarters back to downtown Peoria, just seven blocks from the original hospital – it’s truly a homecoming.

In 2018, OSF was looking to expand its central administrative office and bring together employees who were spread throughout a number of buildings across the Peoria area. The opportunity to save the 1904 “Big White Store” from demolition became available. The historic former department store, Peoria’s first steel structure, had seen many uses over the years including offices for community-support businesses and a bank. In 2018 it was vacant, unheated and exposed to seasonal climate cycles. OSF had a choice between renovating the long-neglected icon or building anew. It chose to reuse the building and invest in downtown.

The building holds great historical significance as a key landmark within the Peoria community. It reflects the design aesthetics of its era and serves as a tangible link to the city’s past while acting as a reminder of the commitment to Peoria’s future. The OSF project holds offices, meeting rooms, a coffee shop and a dining spot which are open to the public. Preserving and revitalizing this structure has been crucial for maintaining the area’s cultural fabric and historical integrity.


(Photo credit: Thornton Tomasetti)


Jim Mormann, owner of OSF HealthCare

The project directly contributes to the revitalization of downtown Peoria. This design puts the community at the forefront, inviting the public into the building and encouraging employees to engage outside, creating a positive economic impact downtown. The building’s early 19th-century storefront and mid-century addition have been returned to their glamorous and awe-inspiring place as The Big White Store, the centerpiece of downtown Peoria’s past but also the cornerstone of Peoria’s reinvigorated downtown district. It is a foundational element in establishing the area as a hub of activity and innovation once again.

Revitalizing this iconic structure has served as a catalyst for community engagement, spurring a renewed pride and appreciation for local history. The building serves as a symbol of Peoria’s resilience, a reminder of its rich heritage and a draw for employees, neighbors and visitors alike.


(Photo credit: balloggphoto.com)


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